The General Motors Ownership Of Saab Automobile

Posted on 08. Jul, 2008 by in 2000-2009


General Motors has owned Saab Automobile for the better part of 18 years this year, 50% since 1989/1990 and 100% since 2000.

There has been a lot of news as of late and I have decided to just put up a poll to see what the general consensus of the public thinks about what General Motors should do with Saab Automobile.

The poll below has three simple directions for where Saab Automobile could go, so here’s your time to vote:

It will be very interesting to see the votes, but more importantly, the why you voted the way you did, so please make sure you include your reason in the comments field as well.

What Should GM Do With Saab?

  • Sell (60%, 99 Votes)
  • Keep (20%, 33 Votes)
  • Maintain Course & Speed (20%, 32 Votes)

Total Voters: 164

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21 Responses to “The General Motors Ownership Of Saab Automobile”

  1. IronJoe

    08. Jul, 2008

    It is so painfully simple in my mind. GM loses millions owning Saab. The Saab name and legacy is dragged through the mud with each iteration of GMified garbage (9-2x, 9-7x, possible production to Russelheim? 9-4 made in Mexico?!). It makes sense for both parties to split.

    Sell Saab: GM stops losing money and Saab gets picked up by someone who won’t abuse the brand name, alienate its consumer base, and would generally gives a @#$%^ what the company once stood for.

    It makes me sick to watch the brand I love slowly deteriorate and become just another GM also-ran. There’s really no reason to buy a new saab other than brand loyalty, or the massive incentives dealers MUST fork out just to move cars. That’s not what Saab should be about – there used to be a reason to choose Saab over other makes.

    Once upon a time there was a gas crunch, and Saab did something innovative in order to make reliable clean power while getting good mileage. Well guess what people – it’s time to get innovative again. People simply won’t buy a AWD v6 Aero that gets 16 MPG with gas at five bucks. Time to build small efficient sporty powerful swedish cars with innovative technology. Time to let the ENGINEERS build the cars, not the bean-counters.

    /end rant.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Palla2442

    08. Jul, 2008

    *clap**clap**clap**clap**tear* very very very true and im sure we all feel that way other than the people that own the newer saabs

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  3. bsuarmy

    08. Jul, 2008

    I also hit sell.

    Because GM is sucking hard from ’em. Hell if they dropped Saab and Hummer they would probably be doing much better, but what do I know.

    IronJoe hit it on spot with the lacking of innovation. Saab should have beat Volvo to the punch with the compact hatch but was more focused on a limited edition car that is out of most peoples price range with this economy. AWD is standard on most cars now, and Saab is just stepping to the plate. The brand is becoming too bland.

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  4. stig

    08. Jul, 2008

    *applause* Couldn’t have said it better.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Eric van Spelde

    08. Jul, 2008

    Saab & GM have been proven basically imcompatible in terms of engineering (GM doesn’t have upmarket, innovative technology that is relevant to the European market), marketing (GM doesn’t do niche marketing and has fruitlessly tried to do the volume game with Saab) and crucially, owner demographics (traditionally, Saab owners and Opel drivers are on diametrically opposed ends of the scale. What does GM? Put all Saab engineering & marketing under the Rüsselsheim umbrella).
    It’s very hard to see where synergies between a Saab that plays to its core values, and GM would lay. In my opinion, Saab only has a viable future as a low volume manufacturer building small numbers of fast, practical and quirky cars in an old aircraft hangar – possibly under private ownership.

    Reply to this comment
  6. paul galanti

    08. Jul, 2008

    First of all, I ignore all comments from people using nicknanes and not their real names.

    Let’s face it: If it wasn’t for GM SAAB would be among the makes from Austin-Healy to Borgward to Checker to DKW to Edsel to Frazer-Nash to Goliath to Hudson to Iso to Jowett to Kaiser to Lloyd to Mercur to Nash to OSCA to Packard to Riley to Simca to Triumph to Unic to Wartburg to Yugo to XEF to Zundaap – found only on the pages of automobile encyclopedias.

    Come to think of it, without GM there wouldn’t be a Saab History web site. Of course it will be a shame when GM cuts all ties to Saab and sends all the Saabs in the Heritage Collection to the crusher. But maybe they will donate the Saabs to Chrysler LLC who will be the new owner. And won’t that make the GM haters happy.

    Reply to this comment
  7. MaritSaab

    08. Jul, 2008

    Really, you think without GM there wouldn’t be a Saab History web site? That is just silly… of course there would be a Saab History web site, but that is a rant I won’t even get started on.

    I say sell, only because GM is sucking Saab people and their innovations dry, and those people are what make Saab so special to me (because I am a classic Saab fan). And Saab employees (the people in Sweden) get nothing for all of their work expect seeing all of their hard work get put in shitty GM cars (hate to say it…)

    Reply to this comment
  8. WSUviggen

    08. Jul, 2008

    I hit Sell…

    First off we should realize with the current economy/situation not only here in America but also on the global scene Saab can’t realistically survive on their own, but let them go to someone who’ll give to shits and let them return to producing exciting cars again, think viggen and spg. Let’s see a AWD turbo 4 that is truly competitive.

    To the comment on Saab being sold to Chrysler…ughm doubtful Chrysler is doing the worst of the Big Three, and seeing with Ford selling off their holdings in companies such as Land Rover and Jaguar, it would make logical sense that Saab would go to an overseas buyer and not a floundering domestic brand.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Derek

    08. Jul, 2008

    IronJoe wrote “Sell Saab: GM stops losing money and Saab gets picked up by someone who won’t abuse the brand name”

    That’s a big assumption. The buyer may abuse the brand name even more.

    Selling Saab would not be good for current 9-3 owners because the new buyer would stop using GM parts. It’s like the current situation with 9-2X owners. They use Subaru parts but Subaru has no connection with GM. This is a short term problem that would affect owners from about 2015-2020 (when 9-3’s start to be junked and the remaining 9-3’s need parts. After 2020, the 9-3 situation would be like Saab 99’s now and like any discontinued car).

    Reply to this comment
  10. david calabrese

    08. Jul, 2008

    GM has gotten a lot out of Saab and Sweden. I don’t see where it has cost them much. Now they can feed it stuff from their other sections and there is an opportunity to dust off the 90’s small car plans. To an outsider all they would buy would be the name so it would not bring in much. We will see. david

    Reply to this comment
  11. Greg Abbott

    08. Jul, 2008

    I voted to keep it. Nothing is solved by selling Saab, it’s not big enough to make a real dent in GM’s overall problems (which is losing money in North America).

    This has all the marks of a “Oh, there’s a crisis, let’s do something” panic move — which people will realize later didn’t solve the main problem and created a bunch more problems down the road.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Ben Tyson Nashvegas

    09. Jul, 2008

    I vote sell and there are some really solid comments above… but …. let’s think very simply here. Its tough to sell WITHOUT a buyer; thus far, there have been tons of rumors of GM selling SAAB, and I am not aware of any rumored buyers emerging.

    So it’s a tough issue. I definitely don’t want to see the brand simply ceasing to exist, that’s for sure.

    Personally I think the product offering from the mid to late 90’s onward has not been fantastic. I like the 9-5 alot (and liked the 9000)… but the GM 900, 9-3 and today’s 9-3’s just don’t do it for me.

    I remember in 1994 test driving a new c900 commemorative 3 door hatchback. That car had a mystique, it was sexy, it was unlike anything else. It was COOL. Really, buying a car for most niche buyers is going to come down to “do they like the image they project when they’re in this car/how does this car make them feel/do they smile in the car/is the car the lifestyle they have or aspire to have” … and lots of the current Saabs just don’t project intelligence, security, uniqueness, design and technology like they used to.

    I know what readers of the above might be thinking. I’m nostalgic, resistant to change (ie every purist hates every new model that comes out)… but here’s the thing. I’m not. I’m the prime guy Saab should target. I’m 32 years old. I love Saabs. I go to Saab conventions. I’m not old/stodgy or otherwise set in my ways. I love change. I love new technology. I tried to buy a Saab two months ago but I bought a new S-line Audi A6 because simply put, the car blew me away. I wish it had a Saab badge on it. Engine, looks, the MMI technology, interior design, transmission, cool features everywhere… I loved it. And I paid 20k more for that car than even the maxed out 9-5 Aero or Turbo X which I just couldn’t bring myself to buy.

    Go to the Saabusa website. It needs work. It’s like a rebadged buick site. What’s with the word “luxury” in the page header? Luxury? Go to the audi site. It’s freaking cool… COOL. Cool counts, guys. The car biz is “show biz” and the same rules should apply. I’ve worked in big companies with legacy systems, group decisions and understand that sometimes there are bigger fish to fry than spending mega coin on the consumer website. But now people research cars online. Its one of the first touchpoints. Whoever’s running Saab, please get the website right. Very simple and I think it would make a difference. These are the types of reasons we are even having this conversation about GM selling Saab now.

    As for product lines really capturing the spirit of the brand. Audi figures it out. Think the TT, the A3, A5 A6, the A8.. these are dramatic cars whether you like them or not. Land Rover’s product offering right now is stunning, gas mileage notwithstanding. Drive a Range Rover Supercharged and tell me its not cool. Even the LR2 is cool albeit small. I don’t really believe what anyone says (all the saab higher ups, gm execs) when they justify the 9-2x or 9-7x as a catalyst for growth.. it’s short term sales bumps combined with chipping away at brand identity.

    PS — why is Audi out there making the A3 and not saab?

    PPS — I love the 9-4x and hope the actual execution is as hot as the showcar. If so, I think it could be a hit and set the tone for Saabs to come, GM or not. Some pics I saw last week of the grey plastic dash and GM radio made me think it might not work out.

    That’s just some of my consumer thoughts on the brand as it relates to why it is where it is… there could not be a bigger fan of SAAB emotionally (although some of you may rival or surpass me), and I get the business side of things. It’s all about the product, building an image based on and reflected in that product (born from jets anyone) and figuring out a way to do it at a price point that works. Not 3 years late (new 9-5).

    I am not joking. About once a week my wife and I say a devotional at night and pray for various things. We have prayed for Saab before.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Corrine

    11. Jul, 2008

    Saabhistory has nothing to do with GM …good grief. Do your homework before you make a comment like that. Duh!

    I say sell, but to to the right buyer of course.

    Reply to this comment
  14. david calabrese

    11. Jul, 2008

    Neither Saab nor Saturn will be sold. Waggoner has stated that only Hummer because of change in market. GM is investing 8 billion Euros in Opel in order to strengthen its position. Saab will ride with them.

    Reply to this comment
  15. lynne culbertson

    12. Jul, 2008

    if gm is going to sell them they ought to be able to do more than the basic oil, filter type servicing. they are falsly claiming that any gm dealearship can service a saab. not so when it comes to major work. less than 5 months owning my saab 93 – 2006 the entire electrical unit went out and also the entire abs unit. both on back order which makes me wonder if this is happening a lot!!!!! after three weeks i still have no idea when i will get my vehicle back. i am extremely angry at the gm dealership that sold me this car i really have no recourse. if they cannot fix them then why sell them at all!!!! or did i just get a ‘lemon’ – any comments appreciated. this situation has left me with an extremely bad taste regarding the saab vehicle. i have totally been decieved upon purchase. very angry

    Reply to this comment
  16. Saabfan101

    14. Jul, 2008

    To be honest Saab really died in 2002 the year they stopped making the Saab Viggen hatchback and saab 9-3 hatchback. GM are clearly ruining the brand because they are not giving Saab the proper $$$ investment. GM should sell Saab to someone who can turn the brand around back to what it use to be in the 1980’s and 1990’s.. and put in the money to create unique cars which can compete again with Audi/BMW not have crappy half baked GM products like the terrible 9-7 Chevy which does NOT deserve to wear the Saab badge. GM PLEASE sell Saab to someone who can fix the brand because you CANNOT

    Reply to this comment
  17. Saabfan101

    14. Jul, 2008

    What Saab needs is

    1. A new Saab 9-3 hatchback (update from their 2002 model)

    2. A new Saab 9-5 hatchback (to bring back the fantastic 9000 model)

    3. Don’t use any Chevy components in the car like the terrible uneconomical GM V6 in the current 9-3 Aero

    4. Look at the Volvo/Audi model range and bring out unqiue new products not rebadged garbage. (A small SUV to compete with the BMW X3 and a small hatch to compete with the BMW 1 series and Volvo C30).

    5. The clear tail lights on the 2008 model 9-3 look like a guetto boy racer Japanese car from the 1990’s

    6. Saab we need some style and innovation here… Sack the person running Saab at GM they are doing a terrible job

    Reply to this comment
  18. Corrine

    15. Jul, 2008

    GM needs to see these comments..How do we get them to look at these?

    Reply to this comment
  19. Storie Mooser

    31. Jan, 2009

    OK, honestly, I’m an old guy (71). Talk about marching to a different kazoo player, my first car was a 1960 93F, purchased in that year. Yeah, a “two banger”, 3 cylinders without valves or lifters that required pouring oil into the gas tank before each fill-up. Only three forward gears that were awkwardly ranged for US traffic and the engine required a swarp-out at about every 25-30 miles. Back then SAAB didn’t disguise that fact but actually had an inexpensive swap program in place, arguing that swapping out such a simple engine for an inexpensive new one at that frequency was cheaper and less troublesome than periodic major repairs. I swapped two out, able to lift them on and off of their mountings with just one arm.

    Did I wish the car had more forward gears with better ranges? Yes! Would I have preferred to have a 40 cycle, 4 cylinder engine? Yes! So why did I choose a SAAB. Simply put, no other 4 passenger car at the time was as much fun to drive, was a stable and nimble on the road, was as economical on a day-to-day basis, or was as much of a statement about innovative (and yes, even daring) change in automotive design and safety features.

    I guess I could say I “loved” the car, for all that and the fact that it stood out as a protest to the standard of outrageously unsafe, clumsy behemoths Detroit was turning out at the time. I wish I still had it, especially since they are so rare now among collectables.

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    14. Sep, 2011

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  1. Saab History » General Motors Support Of The Saab Automobile Brand - July 15, 2008

    […] I ran a poll back on June 8th about General Motors Ownership of the Saab Automobile brand. The overwhelming majority of those that took the pole believed that it would be best for Saab, if they were sold to another owner. […]

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